Key facts about Lithium:
- It is a soft, silvery-white metal that heads group 1, the alkali metals group, of the periodic table of the elements.
- It has the lowest density of all metals.
- It is the lightest of the solid elements.
- It reacts vigorously with water.
- It has a body-centered cubic crystal structure.
- Lithium does not occur as a metal in nature but is found combined in small amounts in igneous rocks.
- Lithium is found in brine deposits and as salts in mineral springs. Its concentration in seawater is 0.1 part per million (ppm).
- Major Reserves: Lithium reserves are concentrated in the lithium triangle in South America – Argentina, Bolivia & Chile, with 50% of the deposits concentrated in these regions.
- Lithium is important in rechargeable batteries for mobile phones, laptops, digital cameras, and electric vehicles.
- It is also used in some non-rechargeable batteries for things like heart pacemakers, toys, and clocks.
- Lithium metal is made into alloys with aluminium and magnesium, improving their strength and making them lighter.
- Lithium oxide is used in special glasses and glass ceramics.
- Lithium stearate is used as an all-purpose and high-temperature lubricant.
- Lithium carbonate is used in drugs to treat manic depression
Q1) What are alkali metals?
Alkali metals are the chemical elements found in Group 1 of the periodic table. The alkali metals include: lithium, sodium, potassium, rubidium, cesium, and francium.These elements react with water to form hydroxide ions, creating alkaline solutions (pH>7).